Earth to contact aliens in 12 years?

London, Dec 26: Humans could make contact with alien life within the next 12 years, says a former official from the British defence ministry’s UFO project.

The development of a supersized radio telescope called Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will unleash “new and exciting possibilities” on whether there is life out there in the universe, former UFO Project leader Nick Pope told the Daily Express.

Pope, who studied UFO sightings at the ministry for 21 years, said: “I will be controversial and give you an exact year of when I believe first confirmation of contact will be made – and that is 2024, the year in which if everything goes according to plan (when) the SKA will be fully operational.”

The SKA, to be started in 2016, will be the world’s largest radio telescope made of thousands of receptors covering around 5,000 square km of the Earth’s surface in the Australian outback.

Scientists have said the SKA will be 50 times more sensitive, and will survey the sky 10,000 times faster than any other telescope.

“If there is a civilisation within 100 light years this telescope could find it,” Pope said.

The belief in aliens – or euthology – has received worldwide support and a recent poll suggested more people actually believe in aliens than they do in God, the daily said.

Nearly 60 percent of people believe we are not alone in the universe and that alien life forms exist, according to the poll by Opinion Matters.

Another study by the University of Chicago claims that just 37 percent of people believe in God.

IANS